According to the Roman Missal of the Catholic Church, the Holy Thursday ceremony of the washing of the feet may include only "viri selecti" — selected men.

That is why Pope Francis raised ecclesiastical eyebrows when he continued his practice of washing the feet not only of men but also of women and non-Catholics during his visit to the Don Gnocchi center for the elderly in Rome.

We need to fear no such deviation from the legal norm in Baltimore, however. Archbishop William E. Lori presided over the ceremony on Holy Thursday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and adhered to the letter of the law by washing the feet of men only.

We have attained what was previously thought to be unattainable; that is, we are now more Catholic than the pope.

John C. Murphy

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